Home Android Mobile Photography Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Pixel 2 XL

Mobile Photography Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Pixel 2 XL

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

I did some amateur photography using both Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 and Google’s Pixel 2 XL, and here is my review or experience with both, two of the best Android smartphones currently in the market.

Both the Android devices captured some appealing pictures for me after sunrise and before late evening, but definitely for varying reasons as both have their own strengths and weaknesses.

The result from Samsung Galaxy Note 8 got better contrast and saturation compared to the snaps of Pixel 2 XL and looked like a scene from a movie.

The photographs captured from Google device were equipped with rendered detail and highlights. Those got a pure clinical beauty and give a feel of timeless documentary.

Pixel 2 XL

By using telephoto lens while snapping sunset the Samsung device offered beautiful oranges and yellows, and the standard angle lens of Pixel 2 XL showed captured more detail in the waves while color tones were the same.

The photos taken from Pixel 2 XL really impressed me most of the time due to its sharpness that detailed the scenes. However, in the sunset snap I liked the zoom and color rendition of Galaxy Note 8 as it was more of a dramatic shot.

Before I proceed it is here to note that Samsung has equipped its device with two rear cameras while Pixel comes with just one. Well, many may assume two is better, but it is necessarily not. The Note 8 comes with a 12-megapixel shooter while Pixel sports a 12.2-megapixel lens for the standard angle resolution.

note 8 vs pixel 2 xl

Samsung has also come up with an additional 12-megapixel lens for telephoto resolution and this feature is missing in the Pixel phone. The standard angle aperture of both are f/1.7 and f/1.8 respectively.

Samsung provides portrait mode on its rear cameras only while the Pixel comes with both rear as well as front cameras for the mode providing more details and better focus falloff from head to background of a person, even in the case of selfie capturing. The Note 8 offers an artistic blurry background simulating a shallow depth of field.

However, the face of a person looks more natural in the photos captured by Note 8 and this is because of the use of telephoto lens. Faces looked more oval in the Pixel-snapped pictures. This gives a thinner look of the person. The skin tones too appeared overly cool.

note 8 vs pixel 2 xl

Pictures viewed on Galaxy Note 8 looked somewhat like a glossy photo printed on glass while the other phone offered images look slightly flat with a blue hue.

The Galaxy Note 8 offers 2X optical zoom while the Pixel lacks this feature and so its a win-win for Samsung product while getting closer to any subject without reducing image quality.


If you are looking ahead to get the best photos then definitely it should be from Pixel 2 XL, but in case you use zoom feature a lot I would suggest you to go for Galaxy Note 8.

If your budget is not so high to buy either of the two, you can go for Galaxy S8 as it is a cheaper option with same standard-angle camera. Also, Pixel 2 got same camera and abilities like the Pixel 2 XL.